Academic Ceremonies - December Commencement

Remarks: Harry L. Chen, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

Good Morning.  On behalf of the Board of Trustees I’d like to extend warm greetings to the 2010 December graduates, their families and friends and all members of the UVM community joining us today.  December Grads, it is my distinct honor and pleasure to congratulate you on your achievements at the University of Vermont.  Looking over this group, I suspect some of you are early birds and some late bloomers but the end results are the same; you made it!

First and foremost, take time and enjoy your success.  It’s too easy to skip this in this busy time of transition.  I have nothing but optimism for your future based on what I know about UVM and the caliber of its students.  You have made it this far based on your hard work and abilities. You’ve shown you can achieve at a high level overcoming obstacles and setbacks that life throws at all of us.

So as you go out and face you next adventure, remember the good habits and values you acquired in your years at UVM.  Stay active and healthy.  The mind and body are wondrous things. You need to take care of them to get the best results.

Get involved and give back to the community.  Wherever you go, it is your community, and you will help define its identity.  No longer required for the resume, it enriches the soul; it feels good and is reaffirming of the values of your alma mater.

Don’t lose track of UVM’s most valuable asset, the people.  In this day of electronic social media, it’s easy to stay connected.  Like I did back in my college years, I am sure that many of you have made lifelong friends.  Support each other as you head out into the world and struggle with the challenges you inevitably will face.  Don’t forget your professors.  They can continue to serve as advisors and mentors long after you are gone from here.  I can tell you that they love an email, call or visit from a former student. 

While we are here to recognize your academic success and an end to your time at UVM, the learning never stops.  Pay attention to the world around you.  You may not be cramming or pulling all-nighters but in reality you can’t turn it off, so embrace it and nurture it; it will serve you well.

Don’t forget your roots.  Your families helped get you here and get you through your years at UVM.  They have been there and will continue to be there for you going forward.  Don’t forget to thank them as they share in your success. 

So to close, warm congratulations to the December Graduates of 2010 and your supporting cast; don’t forget to keep dreaming and to follow those dreams.  An interesting and exciting future awaits you.

Enjoy, be well and good luck!

Last modified January 02 2011 12:50 PM

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